The Cherry Creek team that won the 2017 Class 5A boys lacrosse state title may go down as one of the best teams Colorado has ever seen.
Regis Jesuit — which fell to the Bruins in the 5A state championship game — wasn’t far behind, however. Coach Jim Soran’s Raiders remained in the state’s pantheon of elite teams with their fourth consecutive trip to the state title game, something no other Colorado program can currently boast.
The 2017 Aurora Sentinel All-Aurora Boys Lacrosse Team, as selected by the Sentinel in conjunction with balloting of Aurora coaches, includes many of the whopping 42 players that earned all-conference honors across the Centennial and South Suburban leagues.
As usual, Regis Jesuit (15-4) had players selected as All-Americans in their midst in seniors Quentin Birch and Joey Soran, along with several other players tabbed first team all-state by the Colorado High School Lacrosse Coaches Association in sophomore midfielder Reed Babcock, junior defensive midfielder Patrick Roe and senior goalie Braden Host.
Sophomore Jake Taylor and junior Nick Ringhofer (attack), senior Mac Tezak (defense), junior Charlie Maly (LSM) and sophomore faceoff specialist Joe Kassal to round out the Raiders’ large presence on the All-Aurora first team.
In his final season before he heads off to Division I Hobart Collage, Birch earned All-American honors as a severe matchup problem for opponents in the midfield with his blend of speed and toughness. He finished with 29 goals, including a big one in the Raiders’ rally from an early deficit against Arapahoe in a 5A state semifinal contest.
Future Penn State player Joey Soran headlined another outstanding Regis Jesuit defense with an All-American effort and the team captain had a penchant for matching up with the opposition’s best offensive player and shutting them down. Soran also tallied three goals on the offensive end.
Taylor proved to be the most potent goal scorer in Aurora, using some creativity on his way to 48 goals — including seven in the Raiders’ semifinal win over Arapahoe — while he added 16 assists. Taylor’s 64 total points ranked in the top 10 in 5A. Ringhofer rang up 36 goals and chipped in 24 for 60 points as another part of Regis Jesuit’s burgeoning attack, which scored the second-most goals in 5A.
Babcock tallied 26 goals out of the midfield to join Birch with good punch from that position for the Raiders, who also got a big effort in the back from Tezak, another captain on a veteran unit in front of Host, who had by far Aurora’s lowest goals against average of just 7.2 per contest.
Maly was a first team All-South Suburban League performer as a long stick midfielder to further solidify a defense that allowed fewer goals than any team in the state regardless of classification other than Cherry Creek.
Among Aurora faceoff men, Kassal had a slightly lower winning percentage than Grandview’s Dalton Frasier, but won the head-to-head matchup handily when the teams met in the playoffs. He also had 12 goals and three assists as an added bonus to his faceoff prowess.
Roe was a ballhawk as a defensive back on the Regis Jesuit football team and he watched it carefully as a defensive midfielder, while he scooped up 32 ground ball and scored four times.
Eaglecrest’s Oliver Hart had a massive senior season with 70 points, which topped Aurora players and ranked seventh in 5A. The All-Centennial League first team selection finished three behind Regis Jesuit’s Taylor for the city goal lead with 45 — including a 10-goal outburst against Englewood — and he was one behind Grandview’s Cade Bruckman for the assists lead with his 25.
Grandview, Aurora’s other state qualifier, had a lot of newcomers and needed the steady presence of junior defender Colby Moore in the back to keep them organized at times. The University of Denver commit helped a young core set itself up for the future.
Cherokee Trail slipped a bit in terms of wins in the 2017 season, but there was no denying the Cougars’ top end talent. Junior midfielder Cam Gilmore attracted significant defensive attention, but he still made things happen in a big way. Gilmore, who has committed to play at the University of Utah, is headed to the Under Armour Underclass Tournament in Baltimore.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-AURORA BOYS LACROSSE TEAM
FIRST TEAM: Attack — Oliver Hart, Eaglecrest, sr.; Nick Ringhofer, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Jake Taylor, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Midfield: Reed Babcock, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Quentin Birch, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Cameron Gilmore, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Defense: Colby Moore, Grandview, jr.; Joey Soran, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Mac Tezak, Regis Jesuit, sr.; LSM: Charlie Maly, Regis Jesuit, jr.; FOGO: Joe Kassal, Regis Jesuit, soph.; DM: Patrick Roe, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Goalie: Braden Host, Regis Jesuit, sr.
SECOND TEAM: Attack — Cade Bruckman, Grandview, fr.; Anders Erickson, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Chase Street, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Midfield: Grant Breeden, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Jack Rogers, Grandview, soph.; Adam Weintraut, Eaglecrest, jr.; Defense: Hasan Elsayed, Overland, sr.; Sam Kelly, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Jack Weigand, Regis Jesuit, sr.; LSM: Malik Sparrow, Cherokee Trail, soph.; FOGO: Dalton Frasier, Grandview, sr.; DM: Arthur Williams, Eaglecrest, jr.; Goalie: Joe Whitmore, Smoky Hill, sr.
James Bowers, Smoky Hill, jr.; Alec Breeden, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Zach Collins, Overland, sr.; Grant Foerster, Smoky Hill, sr.; Alex Gomez, Overland, jr.; Christian Hansen, Grandview, jr.; Miles Hart, Eaglecrest, soph.; Tate Holleran, Grandview, jr.; Ty Hussey, Grandview, fr.; Lucas Kalscheur, Smoky Hill, sr.; Colby Lensing, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Jordan Livinston, Rangeview, sr.; Dom Mata, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Vincent Mata, Regis Jesuit, fr.; Donovan Maurelli, Smoky Hill, sr.; PJ Offner, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Nick Panuliano, Rangeview, fr.; Jesse Tizon, Rangeview, sr.; Izzy Trujillo, Rangeview, jr.; Logan Wells, Eaglecrest, soph.; Austin Whitcher, Grandview, jr.; Harry Woodward, Regis Jesuit, sr.